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Grand Mama was a Cornbread-Cooking Queen

“I came to Mississippi for the weekend, I wasn’t going to stay”, says Arthur Davis (‘Mr. D’), owner of the Old Country Store Restaurant in Lorman, MS. Driving from his home in Fort Hills, Florida, he was just delivering a car to his son who was attending nearby Alcorn State University, when he saw the old building on the side of Highway 61. Mr. D says he saw the potential in the place as well as the natural beauty of the area. Now over 20 years later, he has received accolades from virtually every travelling food critic for his miraculous fried chicken, a handed down family recipe. I have to admit, fried chicken has never been my absolute favorite, but there’s something extraordinary about his chicken, as well as pretty much everything he serves up at this rustic little restaurant in the middle of nowhere Mississippi.

Mr. D’s energy is incredible, he will always come out and sing a song to his guests (often tunes he made up) and even sit down and talk with people who often come back. He’s someone who is perfectly at peace with what he does, and does it with great joy, skill and endearing wit.

Being involved with the Natchez Festival of Music for the last 8 years, I have had the opportunity to visit Lorman and his store many times. On this occasion he treated us to one of our favorite of his musical numbers, “Grand Mama was a Cornbread-Cooking Queen.”

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